Women detained for insulting Erdoğan on Women’s Day released from custody

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Thirteen women who were detained on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to the slogans they chanted during a Women’s Day event in İstanbul have been released from police custody, according to Turkish media reports.

The İstanbul Governor’s Office announced on Thursday that 18 women who chanted slogans at the end of the Feminist Night March in the Beyoğlu neighborhood of İstanbul were identified on Wednesday and that 13 of them including a minor were detained in police raids the same day.

Journalist Burcu Karakaş posted a photo of a police document on Twitter that included questions directed at the detained women by the police during their interrogation.

“It has been discovered in video footage that you chanted slogans saying, ‘Run Tayyip run, the women are coming.’ What were you aiming for in chanting this slogan?” was one of the questions the women were asked.

Another slogan chanted by the women was “Jump, jump those who don’t jump are Tayyip.”

The women were allegedly identified according to whether or not they jumped to the slogan because they were wearing masks against the coronavirus and their mouths were covered.

Sera Kadıgil, an opposition lawmaker, tweeted that she had gone to the İstanbul Courthouse many times for people detained on nonsense charges but that there has never been any more nonsense reason than the detention of the women for jumping.

Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.

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